Christy Carlson Romano honours Aaron Carter on podcast he was supposed to be a guest on

Christy Carlson Romano shared an emotional tribute to Aaron Carter on her podcast, in which the late singer was supposed to be this week’s guest.

The Disney Channel alum revealed during the introduction of her podcast, Vulnerable, that Aaron Carter missed a scheduled appearance on her podcast back in September. Instead, Romano pivoted the episode to talk about accountability and her own journey with sobriety, before learning last week that Carter had passed away.

“So, today’s episode is a hard one,” the Even Stevens star began the podcast. “I thought about pulling it completely, deleting it – the video, the audio, everything. Today’s guest was supposed to be Aaron Carter. Aaron Carter has passed away since the recording of this video.”

She continued: “Upon hearing about his passing, I’ve been deeply affected by it because when he didn’t show up, I decided to continue with my content and pivot to talking about my accountability and my journey with sobriety. But all the while, I was still checking to see if he was coming. I was asking my producer, I was like, ‘Have you heard anything? Have you seen anything?’ I was genuinely concerned and I think the tension was palpable.”

The 38-year-old actor explained that she felt “instinctively” that something was wrong with Carter when he didn’t show up to record the podcast, and believed that something “bad would happen to him soon.” Romano struggled with deciding whether to continue the episode, but ultimately chose to publish the podcast to “spread awareness” that sobriety is “not a linear journey.”

“I want to shed light that Aaron was a very vibrant human being who had a lot to live for, and while we may not know everything he was going through or the conditions of his passing, that he has a family and he has a child that he has left behind,” the Kim Possible star added.

During the introduction, Romano also shared a message to those who have people in their lives struggling with addiction.

“Please get them help, please intervene, please do what you can to get them help, and – I’m just rooting for everybody,” she said. “It’s really hard, and I know there’s a lot of triggers for people, and I know that addiction is rampant in our society right now.”

The fellow child star also revealed how she felt that “intervention could have happened for Aaron at an early stage” during his career as a rising singer in the late ‘90s and early 2000s.

“I want change, I want reform, I want advocacy, I want to see my friends live,” she concluded the introduction. “So, all the disclaimers are here for you to understand. Go ahead and watch this episode of Vulnerable.”

In the previously-recorded podcast, Romano is seen sitting at a table with two microphones and an empty chair seated across from her. While speaking about accountability, she is seen frequently checking her phone for an update from Carter.

“So, I’m looking at my phone, kind of hoping that I’ll get something,” she said. “But it’s not going to be who I think it is because when someone is suffering so badly, their accountability is completely gone.”

Romano did not name Carter during the episode and instead referred to him as her “guest”.

“I’m still looking, I don’t know why I’m still looking,” she said as she checked her phone. “I should accept the fact that this interview is not happening.”

Aaron Carter, the brother of Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter, died aged 34 on 5 November. A spokesperson confirmed the news to The Independent, writing: “We are extremely saddened and shocked to confirm the passing of Aaron Carter today.”

The singer’s family said his cause of death is “being investigated.”

Carter rose to fame in 1997 when he opened for the Backstreet Boys on tour when he was just 10 years old. Later that year, he released his self-titled debut album. In 2000, Carter’s second record, Aaron’s Party (Come and Get It), went triple platinum, including songs such as “I Want Candy” and “That’s How I Beat.”

In recent years, Carter had suffered from substance abuse and was involved in a series of drug-related arrests.

Aaron Carter is survived by his 11-month-old son, Prince Lyric Carter.